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  1. #1
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    (Alex) Moulton bikes.

    I know, they're not really folding bikes but they do separate and are kinda in the same category. I recently read the articles in A to B magazine about the bikes and Alex Moulton and my interest has been tweeked; I like the unusual and different. I'd like to know if others on this forum own or have had experience with Moultons. Let me know what your experiences are or have been both good and bad. Thx in advance, PG.

  2. #2
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Minimal experience with them. Initial impression is that they are stiff, fast, well built, and very comfy. But not as light as other bikes. They are beautiful, though. How in the world can you ride in the San Fernando Valley?

    If the bike is to throw in the back of the car, they are a great option, but Bike Friday, Swift, and Birdy are more cost-effective (if less aesthetic) options. Each delivers a hand made frame. The Birdy is very similar to the Moulton in terms of design, but folds to a compact size. Bike Friday will deliver a harsher ride, but will custom make the bike to your dimensions. The Swift is the most cost-effective, but doesn't fold very much, so you would need to ensure it fits in your car.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolishGuy View Post
    I know, they're not really folding bikes but they do separate and are kinda in the same category. I recently read the articles in A to B magazine about the bikes and Alex Moulton and my interest has been tweeked; I like the unusual and different. I'd like to know if others on this forum own or have had experience with Moultons. Let me know what your experiences are or have been both good and bad. Thx in advance, PG.
    MIght be worth joining the Moulton Forum and read some of the back posts... there is a ton of info on the site..

    Bruce

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    pm124- I've been a member of the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club for six years and have adopted some of their rides as my solo routes. Not too bad of an area to ride in and some of the mountain roads can be challenging. I've seriously looked at and continue to keep in mind the Bike Fridays. One of the SFVBC members rides a Pocket Rocket and for a small wheeled bike, he can really move. BruceMetras- Thanks for the link to the Moulton club. I'm certain to find helpful information there. PG.

  5. #5
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolishGuy View Post
    I know, they're not really folding bikes but they do separate and are kinda in the same category.
    Based on 45 years of cycling - half riding an Alex Moulton - I disagree. To view Moultons as some derived colapsing travel bike is to misunderstand what they're about and why they exist.

    BTW, not only has Moultons never built a folding bike, the majority of bikes Dr. Moulton has built since 1962 do not separate.

    Best,
    TCS
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  6. #6
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    ...not as light as other bikes.
    Yeah, yeah. I was down at the huge LBS not too long ago and got the "heavy bike" comment. I hung my 1984 Moulton on the shop scale, and then challenged them - with an inventory of literally thousands of 2007 bikes - to hang a new bike with dual suspension and a demountable frame on the scale that was lighter. They wouldn't take me up on the challenge. So I said I'd waive the separable frame, and for them just to hang a new dual suspension bike on the scale that weighed less. They declined to take me up on that either.

    TCS
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

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    Pardon my "newbie" ignorance about the Moulton bikes. Great info so far. To TCS, in your experience, are there any U.S. dealers/distributors that you could recommend. I've seen a few on the Moulton website but I hate to both folks with pesty phone calls. Thx, PG.

  8. #8
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Yeah, yeah. I was down at the huge LBS not too long ago and got the "heavy bike" comment. I hung my 1984 Moulton on the shop scale, and then challenged them - with an inventory of literally thousands of 2007 bikes - to hang a new bike with dual suspension and a demountable frame on the scale that was lighter. They wouldn't take me up on the challenge. So I said I'd waive the separable frame, and for them just to hang a new dual suspension bike on the scale that weighed less. They declined to take me up on that either.

    TCS
    Sure, one gets something for the extra weight. It is a tradeoff that an individual has to choose between.

    I wonder if a manufacturer tried to build a dual suspension road bike whether the Moulton would still be lighter.

    While one can get a Pashley with 20" tires, the one turnoff I have with the real Moultons is the 17 3/4" tires.

    More generally, people have discussed separables here before including S&S Couplers and the Ritchey Breakaway. So I think you can discuss away ...

    -G

  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolishGuy View Post
    Pardon my "newbie" ignorance about the Moulton bikes. Great info so far. To TCS, in your experience, are there any U.S. dealers/distributors that you could recommend. I've seen a few on the Moulton website but I hate to both folks with pesty phone calls. Thx, PG.
    Too bad you are not around here ... John Bruno at BikesatVienna is a dealer. At least, I believe that they are.

    http://www.bikesatvienna.com/products

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    I have a space frame Moulton APB, circa 1997, and an early F-frame, circa 1964. As others have noted, Moultons aren't folders, nor do they ride or handle like other small-wheeled bikes. Moultons are excellent road bikes.

    Here's one U.S. dealer:

    Gilbert Anderson at North Road Bicycle Company:

    http://www.northroadbicycle.com/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Yeah, yeah. I was down at the huge LBS not too long ago and got the "heavy bike" comment. I hung my 1984 Moulton on the shop scale, and then challenged them - with an inventory of literally thousands of 2007 bikes - to hang a new bike with dual suspension and a demountable frame on the scale that was lighter. They wouldn't take me up on the challenge. So I said I'd waive the separable frame, and for them just to hang a new dual suspension bike on the scale that weighed less. They declined to take me up on that either.

    TCS
    What does your Moulton weigh?

    David

    '....He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;...'

  12. #12
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    My Birdy is down to about 19 pounds and is dual suspension, so I'm up for the challenge. ;-)

    Of course, I would get plastered by this guy http://weightweenies.starbike.com/articles.php?ID=21 if he put two Pantour hubs on it.

    OK, OK, both the Moulton and Birdy have far superior suspension, but...

    By the way, was justification ever given for moving from 349 wheels back in the day?

  13. #13
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Based on 45 years of cycling - half riding an Alex Moulton - I disagree. To view Moultons as some derived colapsing travel bike is to misunderstand what they're about and why they exist.

    BTW, not only has Moultons never built a folding bike, the majority of bikes Dr. Moulton has built since 1962 do not separate.

    Best,
    TCS
    Fair comments if not veering a little close to Stereotyped Moultoneer elitism there
    But if you interpret his comments to mean 'diminutive fast small wheeled bike' then his post fits right in here on the Folder [aka minibike appreciation society] Forum.

  14. #14
    Señor Mambo
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    Nowadays, Moulton's are just a name with great looks. I'm sure better bikes and mini-bikes have been made and are now made which challenge the ride of a Moulton. Looks are a different issue however, and I can understand paying a premium for that - up to a point.

  15. #15
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    Moultons don't look particularly good, and I own three, soon to be four of them. They do ride quite well, better overall than the other small wheelers I've tried. Bike Fridays are fairly agricultural in comparison, although their steering is nicely judged.

  16. #16
    Edd
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    I have a non separating F frame Moulton and find the ride very good, in some ways better than my Birdy.
    Thought some of you might like this video of the New Series Moulton.
    Edd

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...2343&q=moulton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    I have a non separating F frame Moulton and find the ride very good, in some ways better than my Birdy.
    Thought some of you might like this video of the New Series Moulton.
    Edd

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...2343&q=moulton
    Thanks for that video. It makes the viewer really want to ride & probably own, a Moulton.

    For you folks with, or interested in, Birdys & Moultons, there's a review of these along with others in a touring context, in Aug-Sept issue of "Cycle", the UK "CTC" magazine.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    Moultons don't look particularly good, and I own three, soon to be four of them.
    I think you've spoiled yourself by owning too many, and have taken their looks for granted. To me, their F-frame is both a functional and aesthetically pleasing design; Bridgestone seems to agree. I'll take your word for it about how it rides, though.

  19. #19
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    BTW, while waiting for a few programs to finish running, I looked up the wheel diameter of the new Moultons ...

    The listed diameter is something like ~18.5" (the actual diameter with a Stelvio) but they are using ERTO 406 wheels. However, the fork is narrow preventing a wider tires from being used.

    -G

  20. #20
    rhm
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    I have an old Moulton Stowaway --that's the separable model-- that I got on ebay. It came with surprisingly light all-steel components, and the gearing was a single speed coaster brake hub. The rims are 16 x 1 3/8 like Brompton. I've upgraded it now, with all aluminum alloy components, including an SA-8 hub and an SA drum-brake-dynamo hub in front, and the result doesn't seem a whole lot lighter than it was. I have not weighed it! I have not found any effective rear brake; the reach is a bit long, but that probably isn't the whole story. Thankfully the drum brake gives me all the stopping power I need. The bike feels very sturdy, and I feel confident riding it fast, bunny hopping speed bumps, etc. The full suspension is effective, and I like the comfort of the ride, but the steering is very jumpy; cannot ride no-hands, so I am more or less stuck in one position while riding, which I don't like so well. But I am not convinced I've set up the bike to fit me just right; haven't found a handlebar / stem combination that I like... and so on.

    As for separability vs foldability... I can take the frame apart and put it in the back of the car, and have done a few times, but it's a bit of a chore and involves an 8mm allen wrench... it is nowhere as simple as folding up a Strida or a Downtube Mini, and I find it more convenient to commute on the latter most of the time.

    As for the look... well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? It's sure an odd looking beastie, and the small wheels tend to make the whole bike look unusually large. The beauty of the thing, to me, is that it just looks so functional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    I have a non separating F frame Moulton and find the ride very good, in some ways better than my Birdy.
    Thought some of you might like this video of the New Series Moulton.
    Edd

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...2343&q=moulton
    As I watched that video, you could see the front suspension bottoming out every time the rider pushed the crank. He wasn't even going up a hill and the front fork hit the bottom! It reminded of a guy riding a Cannondale with that front shock because it absorbs alot of energy. I don't mind the rear suspension but the front is not really necessary. I bet that rider could go faster if the front fork was solid without suspension.

  22. #22
    Bicycling Gnome
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    An interesting video that was. I could do with a front suspension like that when I hit a pothole on 16" wheels - almost enough of a shock to break your wrist - well, maybe not quite, but savage nonetheless.

    I make a habit of meticulously examining the frame and forks every hundred miles. Allu frame and constant shocks could get nasty eventually.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  23. #23
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    On my earlier posting, the question about wheel size and efficiency was raised. We never actually got to an experiment on small wheels, Advantages of small wheels but Moulton did. He notes that the suspended wheels were 1-2% *more* efficient than the big wheeled bikes. Of course, that is biased by MFR testing, so we are back to square 1. In the end, seems like there isn't much difference.

  24. #24
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Watching that video posted in this thread has made me want to go down and see the Moulton operation at Bradfrod on Avon. I'm thinking of a car/Merc tour around the Kenilworth canal tow path to take in the Moulton place. As a director of my son's company, I think I could qualify for the tax free perks of the ride to work scheme and get nearly 50% off the price of a Pashly Moulton. I can't really justify £3000 for the latest Moulton, hand made product, but the Pashly Moulton at £900 with a hefty tax discount is a different matter.

    http://www.paulspages.co.uk/bbcycle/


    http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/tsr8.html

    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  25. #25
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    On my earlier posting, the question about wheel size and efficiency was raised. We never actually got to an experiment on small wheels, Advantages of small wheels but Moulton did. He notes that the suspended wheels were 1-2% *more* efficient than the big wheeled bikes. Of course, that is biased by MFR testing, so we are back to square 1. In the end, seems like there isn't much difference.
    What's MFR testing?

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